A CONTROVERSIAL phone mast will be top of the agenda at a meeting next week.

The Little Lever and Darcy Lever Area Forum will meet for the first time on Monday, following a shake up of forum boundaries.

The key issue will be a public inquiry to be held on June 11 into a T-Mobile phone mast, which was erected in Little Lever without planning permission.

Only one resident attended a public meeting on the issue on May 22 after organisers failed to publicise it. Councillors hope more people will attend the forum to discuss the matter and help to establish a battle plan.

Cllr Sean Hornby said: "We'd like as many people to attend the meeting as possible.

"We also need people to go along to the inquiry to show the strength of public feeling and support the council.

"The planning inspector will visit the site of the mast in the afternoon and we want him to be met by as many people as possible, demonstrating against the mast. We don't want this mast and we need to tell him."

Cllr Hornby will be joined at the meeting by Cllr Mary Woodward, Howard Barritt, the council's head of planning control and a council solicitor. It will start at 7pm and be held at Mytham Road Primary School.

T-Mobile installed a phone mast in Coronation Square, off Market Street, in September.

The company was refused permission last April because of its visual impact and the absence of a certificate showing it met emissions guidelines.

T-Mobile claims it sent the certificate and that the council failed to notify them of its decision within the required 56 days. The council denies this.

Bolton Council issued an enforcement notice for the removal of the mast but the company appealed against it.

Talks held in November, to try and find another site for the mast, failed.

The public inquiry will be held at Bolton Town Hall from 10am on Wednesday.

The planning inspector will listen to speakers for both sides then visit the site in the late afternoon.

A decision on whether the phone mast will remain is expected a few weeks after the inquiry.